The Masked Man's Christmas (Part 3)

Note: This is part 3 of the 2016 Dinosaur
Christmas story. If you missed parts 1 and 2,
they're posted on the Dinosaur Training Blog;
be sure to read them first to follow the story:

Part 1

Part 2

Also, if you want to place a Christmas Order,
do it now! Things are down to the wire.

The Masked Man's Christmas (Part 3)

The little yellow puppy searched up and down
the alley without finding anything to eat.

He stopped in front of a big trash can. From
inside the steel can, he could smell someone's
table scraps -- meat, potatoes, and a steak

He stood up on his back legs and tried to
scramble up the side of the trash can.

He made it half way, then slid back down to
the dirt.

He tried again.

Same result.

A third time.

Again, no luck.

He sat down, staring upward, his nose twitching
at the tantalizing food smells. He was hungrier
than ever.

He was so hungry that he never heard the crunch
of the heavy footsteps behind him.

A dark shadow fell across the alley, and a huge
man stood above him.

"What are you doing here all alone out in the cold?"
the man asked.

The puppy turned and looked up.

"Are you lost?"

The puppy stood on all four legs, and wagged his tail.

The man leaned forward, reached down, and picked the
the puppy up, cradling him in two powerful arms.

"What's your name, boy? Do you have any tags?"

He gently felt around the puppy's neck.

"No tags -- no collar -- your ribs are poking right
out your sides -- you're either lost or abandoned!"

The puppy answered by burrowing deeper into the man's

"You're cold, too! How long have you been out here?"

There was no answer. But that didn't matter. The big man
already knew the answer.

"Well, come with me, boy. I know where to find you a
nice steak dinner."

He held the puppy gently but firmly, walked to the
front of alley, turned to the right and headed down Main

At the corner, they passed a Salvation Army volunteer
standing in front of his black kettle and ringing his bell.

"Merry Christmas!" he called. "Merry Christmas!"

The big man reached into his pocket, pulled out a handful
of coins, and dropped them into the kettle.

"Thank you, sir -- and Merry Christmas to you!"

The big man disappeared down the street. He was almost
out of sight when the Salvation Army volunteer looked into
the kettle.

"What the --?"

He reached into the kettle and pulled out five gold coins.

"Thank you!" he cried. "Thank you, mister!"

But the man and the puppy were out of earshot.

The volunteer looked at the gold coins in his hand. He
had heard stories about that sort of thing, but never
dreamed he'd live to see it happen. Not to him! Not here.

"What a great guy," he thought. "I wonder who he is."


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P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "If it was easy, it
wouldn't be worth doing." -- Brooks Kubik